LIVE BLOG: Apple’s iPhone 8 And iPhone X Launch, As It Happened

LIVE BLOG: Apple’s iPhone 8 And iPhone X Launch, As It Happened

LIVE NOW: We’re up and awake and live-blogging Apple’s September event, where we’ll see not one but two new iPhones, and hopefully a swathe of other new tech toys and glimpses into Apple’s future. You should come and keep us company.

8:30PM: Hey folks! Hope you’re all settling into bed for that precious six hours of sleep between now and 2:30AM. That’s when you can expect me to post again, complaining about the cold and the fact that I can’t find the remote for my Dyson heater and the fact that I’ve already run out of Red Bull. (I have four cans. They may not be enough to see me through.)

While we pass time, who’s up for some wild and baseless speculation? Look at the colours in Apple’s logo: one of them is a really soft pink. The same kinda soft pink, maybe, that Apple just debuted on its new Beats Studio Wireless headphones, in Porcelain Gold? Could it be? A porcelain-backed iPhone? A ceramic iPhone? Like the rumours we’ve been hearing since the ceramic Apple Watch 2 Edition was launched.

The other colours? Kinda orange, kinda coppery? Like the rumoured gold-copper finish that’s been mooted for the new iPhone? Dunno what to think about that blue, though. Go forth, commenters, and speculate wildly. Or go look at the spaceship to pass the time, I don’t know.

My mates and I have been having a bit of a guess at the likely price and on-sale date of the new iPhone X. If there’s a single model — say with 256GB storage — I think it’ll be $1899 and go on sale November 22. One mate thinks $1799 and November 9, the other thinks $1899 and late October. A couple of the guys in our office think $1500-$1600. What do you think? Will this be the first phone to crack $2000 in Australia? Will we get it sooner or later?

2:45AM: OK, I’m up, I’m up. This is hell. It’s not cold, I’m not that tired, but the mechanical keyboard I’m typing on is literally the loudest thing in the entire universe. I feel like I’m going to wake everyone up three houses down. Where are we up to since I went to bed? Apple’s updated its site with a reminder that 3AM is the start time, I guess:

The new Campus looks very very nice.

2:50AM: We’re now 10 minutes out from the start time and I’m starting to feel the slightest bit more awake. As usual, there’s Apple event bingo cards going around. You can stake your money on the ‘one more thing’ or equivalent, but honestly I wouldn’t be confident that Apple will even mention the headphone jack.

2:55AM: T-minutes 5 minutes. A quick reminder of what we’re expecting to see this morning: an iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. An iPhone X, the exclusive model that has standout hardware like that edge-to-edge display. A new 4K Apple TV. A new Apple Watch. iOS 11. Anything more than that is honestly a bit up in the air, but we’ll see…

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some new AirPods? I love my AirPods.

3:00AM: We’re waiting… by all accounts, the event is starting with a short video tribute to Steve Jobs. If you’re on Edge, you might be having some trouble. Just refresh a few times and it should work.

3:05AM: OK, we’re up and running. Apple CEO Tim Cook is up on stage, talking about Jobs and how he’s affected the history and the course of Apple.

3:10AM: Apple will move into Apple Park slowly throughout the rest of the year, but the opening of the Steve Jobs Theater is the first part of that. Apple Park: “It connects extraordinarily advanced buildings with a rolling parkland… The park itself was converted from a sea of asphalt into a greenspace with over 9000 trees.” It’s powered entirely by renewable energy, and has one of the world’s largest on-site solar installations.

There’s a visitor centre on the grounds — with Apple-designed augmented reality experience and an Apple retail store — that will open later this year.

We’re getting an update on Apple’s retail plans first, with Apple’s own Angela Ahrendts up on stage. Apple doesn’t call its stores Stores any more — rather, town squares.

In its largest stores, Apple sets them up as plazas, with public performances and the ‘Genius Grove’ — with a relaxed support experience, apparently.

And Today at Apple is Apple’s reimagining of its everyday events, which range from coding classes to talks by interesting people to photowalks.


It looks cool, of course. “We’ve just started — but the feedback has been fantastic. But what’s next?” Apple is going to invest in turning its biggest stores — of which Sydney is one — into town squares and forums, updating them from the look they’ve had for years. It’s doing the same with the Carnegie Library in D.C.

Plenty of people, including our own Rae Johnston, can’t seem to get the Edge stream going. Sorry, folks. Keep trying! It’s working for me is all I can say.

3:20AM: OK, so we’re on to products finally! And first up is Apple Watch.

Apple Watch is the number one selling watch in the world. That’s bonkers.

People like the Apple Watch. Hell, I love mine. 97 per cent of people, apparently. INCLUDING A RUSSIAN CYBORG.


There’s a lot of praise for Apple Watch’s health features, the glucose monitoring and so on, from customers.


Apple’s Jeff Williams is up on stage talking about the next version of watchOS, watchOS 4, that makes fitness easier. There’s a completely redesigned workout app.

3:25AM: Today, the Apple Watch is the most-used heart rate monitor in the world. “We’re making enhancements to the heart rate app — you can keep your eye on your heart rate just with the raise of a wrist.” Apple’s adding different heart rate metrics, including heart rate recovery, to give you a better idea of your overall fitness.

Apple Watch will now notify you if your heart is racing when you’re not active, and when it detects an arrhythmia — an irregular heart rate rhythm. It’s announcing a new Apple Heart Study, using Apple Watch heart rate data and a new App Store app.

A very quick run through of the new features of watchOS 4.

More important, though: the next generation of Apple Watch. With calls, obviously… Apple Watch Series 3, with cellular built in.

“You can go for a run with just your watch and be connected, you can leave your phone when you go to the beach.”

Apple says it’ll use the same number as your phone, so it’s an eSIM — something we don’t have in Australia just yet.

“Coming next month, cellular’s going to change the way we listen to music.” You can stream music to your Apple Watch to your Bluetooth earbuds — this is exactly what I wanted.

There’s a 70 per cent more powerful processor, with faster Siri — and Siri talkback, for one — along with a new W2 custom low-power wireless for both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. There’s elevation gains and stair climbs during a workout.

Even with all the new toys, the case for Apple Watch Series 3 is just the same size as Series 2. Actually, it’s .25mm thicker at the back crystal.

We’re getting a live demo! Love a good live demo.


Whoops from the audience, weirdly.

“I’m going to go rogue for a minute.” UH-OH. Oh, phew, Jeff is just waxing lyrical about how good the mics in the Apple Watch are.

A wide variety of cases and bands, with a gold finish alongside silver and space grey, and a new Sport Loop band, new Nike+ colours (with a new Nike+ app).

“This year we’re adding a ceramic Watch in a gorgeous grey finish.” Confirmed, we’re getting a grey ceramic iPhone X too. Betcha.

There’s two versions: $US399 for cellular and $329 for non-cellular, and the Series 2 remains in the line-up for $US249.

3:40AM: We’re getting cellular at or after launch — September 22 — in Australia on Optus, Vodafone and Telstra. Which I guess means it definitely has a SIM card tray?

3:45AM: Next up, Apple TV. Apple just got its second Emmy in recognition of Siri. Tim Cook is up on stage talking about the history of TV, from black and white to HD, which is a fair guess he’s just talking about 4K. Yep, “the next major inflection point. The most stunning picture ever.”

Apple’s Eddie Cue is up on stage talking about Apple TV 4K and its two leaps in quality.

HDR-10 and Dolby Vision support are both coming to the Apple TV 4K, with new Apple TV screensavers and a redesigned UI taking full advantage of the tech. If you’ve got a 4K HDR TV to display them on, at least.


And a demo of Spiderman content, which is kinda dragging, since anyone streaming doesn’t really get the benefit of 4K and HDR…

The Apple TV 4K has the A10X Fusion chip, an actual technological marvel in the iPad Pro.

HDR and 4K content is coming to iTunes for the same price as HD, and Apple will give its customers’ existing titles the 4K treatment at no charge.

Apple TV is getting better for Australians too, with new streaming services included like TenPlay and 9Now.


3:50AM: Jenova Chen from That Game Company, the creator of Journey, is up on stage introducing a new game called Sky. That will launch on Apple TV in 4K, with 8 players simultaneously, and it looks preeetty.

3:55AM: Tim’s back on stage. “Next up: iPhone.”


“Nothing else in our lives has had the impact of iPhone.”

The first iPhone had multi-touch. Then the App Store, then the Retina Display, then iMessage and Facetime, and Siri. We’re getting an origins story.

And cameras. “We’ve pushed forward with innovation after innovation, bringing us to this moment.” HYPE.

“We have huge iPhone news, and it starts now.”

Apple’s Phil Schiller is up on stage to introduce the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Glass on both the front and back, with aluminium banding around the edge. Silver, space grey and a new gold.

The rear glass is the most durable in any smartphone. Water and dust resistance, and a new Retina Display. The same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes in iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

The new iPhone 8 has a new A11 Bionic chip with two high-power cores and four efficiency cores — a hexa-core setup, interesting — with three graphics cores.

There’s a new ISP (image signal processor) and other tech to improve how the iPhone 8 takes photos. There’s an all-new 12-megapixel sensor on the 8, two new cameras on the 8 Plus — the same f/1.8 and f/2.8 aperture as the 7, for what it’s worth.


New photos from the iPhone 8 Plus look nifty, naturally. The new ISP should mean better background blur in Portrait Mode.


4:05AM: Apple also has a new Portrait Lighting mode using machine learning to pick out your face and light it differently — “this is real time analysis of the light on your subject’s face” — and it works when you’re shooting or afterwards. This isn’t a filter, Apple emphasises.


The iPhone 8 has 4K 60p recording and 1080p 240p slow-mo. Whoa.

“Augmented reality.” Finish your drinks. We’re getting a look at all the awesome ways that AR can actually work with the things you’re doing, like sitting at a baseball game or looking at the night sky.

Directive Games has a new game called The Machines — competitive multiplayer — working entirely in augmented reality. It looks really really cool, although I wonder how often people will play like that.


The iPhone 8 supports LTE-Advanced for faster downloads and uploads, and Bluetooth 5.0.

And wireless charging! “The freedom of wireless charging.”

The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus supports the Qi standard, although the speed of the charge isn’t confirmed — Qi has been around quite a while.

The US$699 and $799 iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be up for pre-order this Friday in 64GB and 256GB capacities, with on-sale a week later. iOS 11 is coming September 19.

4:20AM: Tim Cook is back up on stage. “We have one more thing. We don’t use those words lightly.”

“We are here to set the path of technology for the next decade.”

This is iPhone X, pronounced iPhone 10. With an edge-to-edge display that extends to every corner. Glass on the back and the front. Surgical-grade polished stainless steel around that edge.

It’s a 5.8-inch 458ppi display, with HDR-10 and Dolby Vision, 3D Touch and True Tone ambient white balance adjustment.

“This is the first OLED display great enough to be in an iPhone.”

There’s no more home button. “This is a big step forward in the iPhone experience.”

With no home button, swipe up from the bottom to go home. Swipe up and pause for a second and you’re switching apps.

Touch ID? “We know we can do something that’s better. We call this Face ID.”


Multiple neural networks for face learning using the iPhone X’s “built-in neural engine” processes face recognition, in the A11 Bionic chip inside the iPhone X.

4:30AM: And Face ID learns over time — and it can’t be spoofed by photographs or masks. Like these masks. All the processing is done on iPhone X and not sent to a server. And it uses your eyes, too — if you’re looking away, it’s not going to unlock.

Face ID is 20 times less likely to unlock with someone that’s not you. 1:1,000,000 versus 1:50,000 on Touch ID, apparently.

With Apple ID, you’ll need to double-tap the side button and look at your phone, and then tap it on the NFC terminal to pay. Not as smooth as Touch ID, sorry.

And you can use your face to adjust emoji — animoji — before you send them.

4:35AM: Apple’s Craig Federighi is on stage to show off the iPhone X. A minor technical stumble first up with Face ID, now we’re getting a proper run through.


Face ID looks exceptionally fast to unlock.

Snapchat demo using the new face tech! Millenials.


You have not lived until you have seen Craig Federighi pretend to be a unicorn on stage at an Apple event.


That’s our first look at the iPhone X in action.

4:40AM: The iPhone X’s dual camera is two new 12-megapixel sensors — one f/1.8 for the wide angle, one f/2.4 for the telephoto. Like the Samsung Galaxy Note8, the iPhone 8 Plus has optical image stabilisation for both lenses to reduce shake. And the same Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting enhancements that the iPhone 8 gets.

The front camera also supports Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting selfies. No word on that front camera’s megapixel count or aperture, though.


And now a big run through of the iPhone X’s features.

“This comes at a hit to battery life… so we’ve increased it.”

There’s a single Qi wireless charging station that will charge your Apple iPhone 8 or iPhone X, your Apple Watch Series 3, and your AirPods (in a new wireless charging case) simultaneously.


“We call it AirPower”. Look for the AirPower charger next year, Craig says.

4:45AM: JONY IVE VOICE ON AN iPHONE VIDEO. FINISH YOUR DRINK. It’s like honey is being poured into my ears.


Oh, hi Jony.

Priced from $US999 in 64GB and 256GB storage capacities, you can order the iPhone X starting on October 27, and it’ll ship on November 3.

4:50AM: When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, he quoted Wayne Gretzy, and Apple is repeating that now:

We’re getting a run through of the announcements of today: Apple Watch Series 3, Apple TV 4K, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone X.


Apparently the hands-on area there is bonkers. Dunno, cos we don’t get to see it! One day, maybe.

4:55AM: And that’s a wrap! Thanks for tuning in, folks. We’ll have all the Australian specific details for you as soon as possible.

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